Your culture will be your catalyst to outperform the competition and provide the type of service that creates loyalty. It’s what takes you from success to significance in the eyes of your customers.
The old adage said that leadership is what drove business, but in today’s world, culture drives business. As the leader, your job is to embody, encourage and inspire the culture of your organization.
Culture has become the hot word in business today. A lot has been written on the subject, with many examples of who has gotten it right.
As I have studied the culture of hundreds of organizations, I have found that successful cultures are often very different from each other. They value and believe different things and yet each is finding success. So instead of giving you the formula for building the perfect culture (because I am not sure there is a universal formula) I want to instead warn you of five mistakes that leaders often make that kill culture.
- Hire For the Wrong Reasons
- Focus on Tasks and Not Purpose
- Preach Values That You Don’t Live
- Incentivize the Wrong Activities
- Not Investing in Your Culture
Over the next five weeks (on this blog) I am going to break down these mistakes one at a time.
1. Hire For the Wrong Reasons
Terrell Owens was a great football
As I’ve talked with numerous successful CEOs about culture, every single one of them has said something to the effect that you hire for attitude and you train for position. A sure way to kill culture is by trying to force something to fit that has the potential to ruin morale. (Owens once led the Cincinnati Bengals in receptions, yards and touchdowns for the season, but after a 4-12 won-lost record they still let him go). In the hiring process, prospects obviously need to have the skill set necessary for the position, but we also need to look at who they are, the values that they profess, and do they fit into our culture. Will they add to it or take away from it? Ability alone isn’t enough to sustain culture.